amends – a meditation

 

The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.

John Green, Looking for Alaska

I have had a lot of anger towards loved ones in the past. I remember that I used to write down the resentments against them when I took my inventory. I was so upset from the harms that I perceived had been committed against me – even if they were decades old. I had heard in the meeting rooms that forgiveness is key to finding peace. And I kept telling myself to forgive these people. I would even chant it to myself or act as if I had forgiven them. Nothing helped. My resentments remained and I felt frustrated.

Eventually, I got to the 8th Step in my Stepwork with my Sponsor. To do the 8th Step, I had to make a list of all persons I had harmed and become willing to make amends to them all. I listed everyone on my resentment list and listed my anger and judgment against them to be reasons for my amends. Thankfully, I had a wonderful Sponsor that asked me where my amends to myself was on the list. I realized I had no amends to myself – not really. I had hastily scribbled my name on the last page in the margin. My Sponsor reminded me that I was not really honoring  and respecting myself by ignoring my self-amends. I took her suggestion and sat and wrote a proper amends to myself. In the amends, I apologized for not standing up for myself in the past. I apologized for lying about my feelings  to myself and others. I apologized for ignoring my own needs. I apologized for giving up my power to other people. And then I cried because I had just been given an amends by the one person with whom I actually angry, myself.

As I cried, the pain left me and the suffering left me and my wounds started to close. Since then, every day that I am honest about my feelings, every time I honor my needs, and every time I stand up for myself, the wounds close a little more and open up more space for gratitude and love and even more forgiveness. And as I heal and forgive myself, forgiveness for others comes so easily. I think this is because my reality exists within me and I project that reality onto the world around me. Now that my reality is that I am responsible for loving myself, so I am able to seeking external validation and resenting people when I do not receive it.

Today, my Higher Power blessed me with happiness and peace as well as pain and fear. All four blessings are always present for me; some offer comfort and some offer opportunity. When I can see all of these as equal, one not better than another, I can stop feeling like a victim and be accepting, grateful, and forgiving.

A meditation for September 29, 2013

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blessing – a meditation

 

Every experience, no matter how bad it is, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.

Buddha

Recently, I thought I have been struggling with acceptance because of a loved one’s addiction and denial. My program has taught me that it is not up to me to classify someone as an addict, or alcoholic, or codependent since I know that I can only honestly speak about my own experience. But I have found myself deeply affected by fear and pain because I do not feel accepted or loved by this person. I found myself trying to explain my loved one’s behavior to myself by assigning labels to this person’s actions or creating stories around why they can not give me what I want. I would tell myself, “this person is not spiritually fit enough to be open and loving”. At other times, I would think “why doesn’t this person love me enough to do this for me? Am I not good enough?”. Sometimes I would just call my loved one an addict and detach with resentment and anger.

In the end, I realized I was right – I was struggling with acceptance. Only, I was struggling with accepting my loved one rather than judging. I was also struggling with accepting myself and trusting in my Higher Power. I know this because my entire focus was on the acceptance I did not feel I was receiving from my loved one. I worried about this person and their behaviors rather than keeping the focus on me and my behavior and my needs.  It is none of my business what my loved one does or why unless it violates my boundaries; and having my boundaries violated is not the same as having my fears triggered. And that is all that is happening – my fears are being triggered. I am afraid that if I do not feel acceptance from this loved one,  I will suffer and be abandoned.

I remember thinking, even up to this morning, “Why did I invite this person into my life? Why couldn’t I have left well enough alone?” But this is why. It is because my Higher Power wants me to love myself and know that my Higher Power loves me unconditionally – even when other people do not. What a blessing it is that I have the opportunity to learn how to love myself and accept the love of my Higher Power no matter what!

So, today, I took a pen, and wrote a message to myself that reminds me that I am loved by my Higher Power. And I know I will feel the fear that I am not good enough for the people in my life to love me. But then I will look at my wrist and realize the more important thing – that I am, have always been, and will always be good enough for my Higher Power to love and accept every part of me.

A meditation for September 26, 2013

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peace – a meditation

 

Don’t let people pull you into their storm. Pull them into your peace.

Kimberley Jones

I do not fully agree with this quote. I definitely agree with the first sentence: “don’t let people pull you into their storm”. And I love that  it says “their storm” and “my peace.” I feel like that immediately gives me a clear understanding of what is in my hula hoop. Whatever the other person is going through is not my responsibility and is not something I need to internalize. It is their storm, and I do not need to take part in it or be pulled into it. I can choose to remain in my peace.

The part of the quote that I disagree with is “pull them into your peace.” For me, I believe that what I might see as a storm is simply my interpretation of a storm. That is to say, it just doesn’t work for me. It might be a situation that is totally different for the other person. I believe that it is up to each person to decide what defines peace for them.  What I consider a storm, someone else could consider peace. And what might be peace for me, might be a storm for others.

So, instead of “pull[ing] others into my peace,” I think it is more accurate to state (as per my experience) that I stay in my peace and offer the other person compassion and support. This is often tricky for me. I forget easily that offering compassion and support is about being of service to my fellows. So, it is important that I do not force my idea of compassion or support onto others, which is the same as “pulling them into my peace.” Instead, I can offer my support by asking how I can be of service.

Today, I will choose not to be pulled into another person’s storm. Instead, I will remain in my peace and offer compassion and try to be of service to my Higher Power and to my fellow.

A meditation for July 23, 2013.

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beauty – a meditation

 

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

Confucius

It is definitely hard for me to see beauty in things when I am feeling angry or hurt or scared. During those times, I can’t see past the end of my own nose, mostly. But that doesn’t mean the beauty isn’t there. My Higher Power never sends me any situation in order to hurt me. Rather, I feel every situation that I encounter is sent to me in order to allow me a chance to grow and heal my soul. What could be more beautiful than that – a universe that conspires in intricate and intangible ways to always care after its children without an eye towards credit or gratitude? In times of fear or pain, I can remember that and remember that even if I am uncomfortable, I am meant to be that way so that I can be looked after. I can always find beauty in that.

A meditation for July 8, 2013.

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worry – a meditation

 

Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace.

If worrying was an Olympic sport, I think I’d win gold every time. I often do everything I can in a situation and then when there is literally nothing else I can do, I worry. I start thinking of all the worst case scenarios and it triggers my fears. In all of these worst case scenarios, I end up alone, worthless, and unlovable. I engage in controlling behavior because that’s my defense mechanism, and I lose my serenity.

Just writing a general overview of how my mind works required a paragraph. In reality, this process of worrying takes up takes up more than a paragraph in my head. It takes up the space of books, of epic novels. I have found, however, I never lose my serenity, when I worry. I just lose sight of it. I bury it under all these other things because I make them a priority over my serenity. I just put piles and stack of my epic novels of worry on top of my serenity. When I see my serenity like this, I see how easy it is to get it back. I just turn over my worries to my Higher Power. I imagine myself taking each “book of worry” off the stack and putting it in my Higher Power’s hands. Then, when there is no more worry, I find that all I am left with is my Higher Power and my serenity.

A meditation for June 23, 2013.

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